Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2019-05-08
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

THEATER REVIEW Fulfillment Center
by Lauren Emily Whalen
2019-02-13

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Playwright: Abe Koogler

At: A Red Orchid Theatre, 1531 N. Wells St. Tickets: $30-40; ARedOrchidTheatre.org . Runs through: March 24

These days, everyone's trying to make a statement.

Theater companies have their reasons. These are trying political times ( to put it mildly ) and plays offer a unique opportunity for showcasing the state of the world and provoking audience thought. However, attempts to make a statement can get incredibly clumsy and even well thought-out politically-themed productions can get exhausting to watch. Fulfillment Center is hardly bubbly escapism, but doesn't try to be more than it is. Instead, Abe Koogler's play is a quiet character study on four lonely people in the New Mexico desert just before the holidays. Thoughtfully directed by Jess McLeod, A Red Orchid's Chicago premiere prioritizes human lives over sweeping declarations and simply put, that's refreshing.

Fulfillment Center kicks off with a lot of talking; namely from Suzan ( Natalie West, best known for her role as Crystal on TV's Roseanne and The Conners ). She's a folk singer and Joni Mitchell fan of a certain age, trying to convince Alex ( Jose Nateras ) why she deserves a job in a big box fulfillment facility. Alex is trying to make a positive impression on the higher-ups so he and his girlfriend Madeleine ( Toya Turner ) can move to Seattle. And on the outskirts of town, John ( Steve Schine ) watches but doesn't say much, his presence imposing and motives unclear.

Koogler's script brings to mind independent films of the 1990s, with spare settings, dialogue with subtext behind every syllable and characters who seem like people you know. Though Suzan chatters merrily to anyone who will listen, offering cookies from a package and liquor from a flask, her hunger for human connection is barely bubbling under the surface. Alex tries to hold it together at work and home, but constantly worries he isn't leadership material and will never please the girlfriend who left New York to be with him in the middle of nowhere. Though Madeleine initially comes off demanding and high-maintenance, drawing people in only to snap at them, her layers are slowly peeled away to reveal a vulnerable woman well out of her element and dealing with serious issues. John is Fulfillment Center's most mysterious—and possibly dangerous—character, rounding out a fascinating yet ( mostly ) relatable quartet.

Some may argue nothing really happens in Fulfillment Center; I would counter everything happens. Life works that way: secrets gradually revealed, feelings confessed one word or gesture at a time. Director McLeod, currently at the helm of Chicago's resident production of Hamilton, aces a completely different kind of story here. At the heart of every story is its characters, who want something, anything, everything. From its first monologue to its final, heartbreaking words, Fulfillment Center illustrates an environment of isolation and the regular people trying to push through it.


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Van Ness, Gadsby at Chicago Theatre in June 2019-05-18 - LGBT celebrities Jonathan Van Ness and comedian Hannah Gadsby will be performing in separate shows at The Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State St., ...


Gay News

Kokandy Productions announces casting for Head Over Heels 2019-05-16 - CHICAGO ( May 15, 2019 ) — Kokandy Productions is pleased to announce casting for its Chicago premiere of the bold new musical ...


Gay News

'Stonewall' exhibit talks, performances on May 22-25 2019-05-16 - Talks related to the Wrightwood 659 exhibit "About Face: Stonewall, Revolt and New Queer Art" will take place May 22-25 at the gallery, ...


Gay News

THEATER The Secret of the Biological Clock 2019-05-15 - Playwright: Andie Arthur At: Eclectic Full Contact Theatre at the Athenaeum, 2936 N. Southport Ave. Tickets: Eclectic-theatre.com 773-935-6860; $25-$30. Runs through: June 2 ...


Gay News

Megan Hilty sings Smash hits at the Goodman gala 2019-05-15 - Tony Award nominee Megan Hilty has had some unforgettable performances in the past with Glinda the Good Witch in Wicked and as Doralee ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW The Winter's Tale 2019-05-15 - Playwright: William Shakespeare At: Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn St.. Tickets: $20-80; GoodmanTheatre.org/thewinterstale. Runs through: June 9 Why The Winter's Tale? ...


Gay News

Critics' Picks 2019-05-14 - Late Nite Catechism, Royal George Theatre, open run—On May 26th, Vicki Quade and MariPat Donovan's internationally acclaimed solo show celebrates its 26th-year anniversary ...


Gay News

Spotlight on The Golden Girls: The Lost Episodes 2019-05-14 - "Caged Miami Heat" and "Murder on the Sicilian Express" are the deliciously irresistible titles of The Golden Girls: The Lost Episodes, Vol. 3 ...


Gay News

Steppenwolf Theatre to present Ms. Blakk for President special events 2019-05-14 - CHICAGO ( May 14, 2019 ) — Steppenwolf Theatre Company and LookOut announce conversations and events designed to enrich the experience of audiences ...


Gay News

Printers Row Lit Fest to include "Year of Chicago Theatre" in June 2019-05-14 - CHICAGO, IL ( May 14, 2019 ) — The 35th annual Printers Row Lit Fest, presented by the Near South Planning Board, is ...


 



Copyright © 2019 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.